Striking Silhouettes: Modern Design With Cut Outs

In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed how geometric shapes are used extensively in modern home design. One way to incorporate geometric elements aside from choosing furnishings with an overt geometric structure is to choose pieces with cut-outs.

Carefully chosen pieces with cut outs also fit solidly within a minimalistic design scheme — any time you can break up a bulky piece of furniture to allow light to pass through you are adding to the sense of open space in the home. Here are a few great pieces we find that exemplify effective use of cut outs:

Cut Out Rugs

cut out rugs

Edition Silhouette Rug by Object Carpet

Who says rugs have to be limited to standard rectangular or circular shapes? Many modern design rugs feature abstract shapes, stylized edges and geometric cut outs. The rug above from Object Carpet creates a sense of contrast with circular cut outs that allow large swatches of your floor to show through. This style of carpet is especially effective on hardwood floors. We recommend selecting neutral colors like muted golds, grays and whites so that the cut outs draw more attention than the color.

Cut Out Furniture

cut out furniture

Paige Contemporary Chair by Coaster Fine Furniture

We’re also seeing cut outs being used effectively in midcentury modern furniture. While today’s tufted, low-to-the-ground pieces are already unassuming, we think cut outs further reduce the appearance of bulk in leather furniture, which tends to look heavy no matter how it is structured. Cut outs make this heavy leather furniture instantly feel lighter and airier, which helps to open up your living space.

cut out furniture

In & Out End Table by Global Views

A solid wood end table with cut out spacing between layers gives the appearance that each layer is floating above the other. Aside from allowing light to easily pass through, the end table is practical, as each layer can be used to stow books or small display items.

Cut Out Lampshades

cut out lampshades

Laser-cut wooden lampshade by min-jon

One of the most innovative ways we’ve seen cut outs incorporated is in wooden lampshades. Not only do these laser-cut wooden lampshades show a high level of craftsmanship, but they can also be layered over the top of differently colored cloth shells that can be easily swapped out to create different color themes. While the piece above features a black cloth shell, you can also layer the wooden lampshade over other colors, like blue, green or white, to create different effects.

Cut Out Statement Chairs

cut out statement chairs

Diva Chairs by Colico Design

Aside from offering a pleasant pop of color to a living or office space, these brilliantly designed chairs feature a smooth cut out that creates visual interest. The almost-perfectly-spherical shape of the chairs adds a touch of geometric flair to a space while the cut out adds a dash of playfulness and keeps the piece from being too rigid.

(Photo sources in order of appearance: Object-Carpet.com via Contemporist.com; CoasterFurniture.com; GlobalViews.com; Min-Jon.com [also Etsy.com] via Design-Milk.com; and Colico.com)

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